Walgreens strengthens public affairs muscle in bid to ‘advance the future of healthcare’

Walgreens creates public policy role

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has named its first dedicated global chief public affairs officer as it becomes further embroiled with governments as the world’s largest pharmacy.

Chuck Greener, who was senior vice-president for global communications and corporate affairs, has now been charged with focusing on the latter part of his job title. He has been tasked with strengthening the drug store’s relationships with governments in the US and abroad.

In a press release, the company said the newly-created role will allow it to “advance the future of healthcare and retail in ways that best serve WBA’s customers, patients and partners”.

The news comes as WBA begins to shift the role of the pharmacy in public discourse in America and beyond. It struck a seven-year deal with Microsoft in January, which will comprise the creation of in-store ‘digital health corners’ to provide consumers with detailed medical information often only accessible in a doctor’s office.

The partnership will also see Microsoft embed its artificial intelligence capabilities across the WBA network. The two companies stated they are additionally working on “enabling more personalized health care experiences” and using the internet of things devices to help develop solutions to those suffering with chronic disease.

Meanwhile, the brand is currently fighting a lawsuit alongside rivals CVS, Walmart and Rite Aid for not doing enough to manage the creeping development of prescription opioid addiction in the US.

Greener will report to Ornella Barra, co-chief operating officer for WBA, alongside new recruit Aaron Radelet.

Radelet has been named global chief communications officer and senior vice-president of the company. He will be responsible for media relations, employee communications, financial communications, digital communications and corporate events.

He joins from Hilton Worldwide.

WBA brands include Boots, Walgreens, Duane Reade, No7 and Liz Earle.

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